After a week of reflection following his maiden MotoGP win, Alex Rins says it was “crucial to avoid any mistakes” when under pressure from Valentino Rossi in the closing stages of the Americas race.

The Suzuki rider clinched his maiden premier class win at the Americas MotoGP by beating Rossi after runaway leader Marc Marquez crashed out early on. Rins reeled in Rossi to take the lead over the closing laps but was under unrelenting pressure from the Monster Yamaha rider in the fight for victory.

But Rins kept his nerve to pull out a useful gap at the start of the final lap to avoid any final attacks from the nine-time world champion to secure his debut MotoGP win – making him the first rider in history to win under the Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP world championship formats at the same circuit.

“Last year we took some strong podiums, and for this season we had set ourselves the goal of a first victory. This goal has now been achieved, three rounds into this 2019 season,” Rins said in his Suzuki blog. “It was not easy, even with Marquez out of the fight. In the first laps it cost me a lot just to follow the rhythm of the race pace.

“When I was behind Miller, I was very close and following him in the first laps, but there were still moments when I thought “Bah, I've lost it!” after running wide in a corner.

“Then, when I got in front of Valentino, I thought that I would be overtaken again and that made me think just how crucial it was to avoid any mistakes until the end. It was really hard under the pressure, although incredibly emotional exiting from the last corner onto the home straight.”

Rins says winning at the Circuit of the Americas came as the ultimate high, marking Suzuki’s first win since Vinales triumphed at the 2016 British MotoGP, as he revealed how he and the team celebrated the historic victory.

“When I crossed the finish line, I saw all my team climbing up the fence on pit wall, and I could not have been happier than I was at that point,” he said. “Then, when I got to Parc Ferme and saw everyone there, celebrating like crazy people! The emotions rushed over me! The party continued in the pit box, all together, we were on Cloud 9 - all singing and dancing, filming videos, taking pictures, immortalising the moment... I could hear all the great American fans cheering from outside, and TV cameras keen to get inside the box.

“Plus, it was fantastic to wear the cowboy hat and hold that special ‘bull horns’ trophy.”

Reflecting on his full Americas MotoGP race weekend, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Spaniard who had an awkward moment on Friday when he accidently locked himself out of his motorhome which meant team coordinator Roby Brivio had to climb through a window.

“The weekend wasn’t easy, and we had some mishaps; on Friday I locked myself out of the motorhome and Roby Brivio had to climb in through the window and let us in,” he said. “Anyway, the weekend finished in the best possible way; with Prosecco on the podium and a very special dinner with Joan, Davide, Ken, all my people, and the team.

“Now it's time for the first race in Europe, the fourth round of the 2019 season. And it’s Jerez - one of the most thrilling and emotional places to ride. We will go all out again, in front of my fans and the Spanish people, for this very exciting race weekend.”

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